Good old Marshalls

Fern needed some black clothes for her orchestra concert so we stopped at Marshalls today. I only shop there once or twice a year. Whenever I walk in, I usually think the same thing.

Good old Marshalls.

But today I had a new thought.

Has that sign always said ‘Rockford’ on it?

Many years ago (1996-2001), I worked for Marshalls; the one in the City Center in downtown Minneapolis. I do not recall our sign having “Minneapolis” on it but maybe I just missed it because many things happen at once when you work at Marshalls.

Working retail has a bad reputation but it’s a decent place to earn some money and benefits if you’re a writer or really any artist. You see, feel and experience so much. But it could get rough at ‘my’ Marshalls. I got spit on, hit on, shoved and yelled at.

Good old Marshalls.

I witnessed two horrific immigration raids in 2001. And one Sunday, a couple guys held up the closing staff. They tied up the women, pointed guns at them and stole several thousands of dollars in cash.

Good old Marshalls.

I saw an employee (a woman) get arrested for stealing panties and a manager (also a woman) get fired for misappropriation of funds. I can’t remember any men ever getting in trouble there but I remember many men who were nothing but trouble.

Good old Marshalls.

But there was so much fun to be had. Marshalls was staffed with awesome people (mostly women) from Minneapolis, of course, but also Mexico, Sudan, Japan, Russia, Tibet and other countries I’m forgetting right now. We laughed a lot. I worked side-by-side with all ages, starting with 16-year-olds all the way up to Barbara, a septuagenarian who drank shots of Listerine throughout her shift. In many ways, I grew up there. I learned so much about what my dad referred to as “the human condition.”

I certainly don’t regret working there but I will never go back to retail. I paid my dues, thanks. But I don’t mind shopping there once or twice a year because it’s a good place to find a bargain. Fern bought the pants and sweater you see in the photograph plus a pair of strappy, high heels for $50 and some change. And she’s going to look great at her concert.

Good old Marshalls!

Thanks for reading my late night blog. -Connie

Fern in the fitting room.

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